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Angela Merkel condemns Russian aggression during summit with Putin

Angela Merkel condemns Russian aggression during summit with Putin

Azov Sea ports have seen their cargo turnover drop by about half in recent years because of additional lengthy inspections and restrictions stemming from the new bridge, it said.

Moscow's actions in the Sea of Azov have occurred in the context of a dramatic increase in the size and capability of Russia's Black Sea fleet and land-based forces in Crimea under the Russian state armament program.

Russian Federation and Ukraine have blamed each other, with Moscow closing the strait to all traffic and Ukrainian officials accusing Russian Federation of denying passage to Ukrainian commercial traffic in and out of Mariupol and Berdyansk.

Russian Federation has denied blocking vessels in the Kerch Strait, saying any possible disruptions were due to bad weather.

Ukrainian soldier patrols aboard military boat called
Angela Merkel condemns Russian aggression during summit with Putin

When asked if Ukraine could expect help from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in the event of attack by Russian forces the Secretary General said: "All allies and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation provide strong political support and strong practical support to Ukraine".

During NATO Foreign Ministers' Session, Ukraine proposed to ban Russian vessels from entering other countries' ports, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin stated on Tuesday during a press briefing in Brussels on the outcomes of the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Georgian and Ukrainian foreign ministers.

Russian Federation seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean Peninsula last week, accusing them of illegally entering its waters, more than four years after Moscow illegally annexed the region.

This comes as tensions between Ukraine and Russian Federation continue to rise, following the seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and a dozen sailors roughly a week ago.

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"We had a brief talk with Trump; I answered his questions about the Black Sea incident".

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood has more.

Ukraine is demanding that Russian Federation release crew members of the seized ships.

He added that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have helped modernize Ukraine's armed forces, have boosted their presence in the Black Sea over the a year ago, with more ships deployed in the region and more air policing.

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"After Poroshenko said that Russian Federation is allegedly planning to seize Mariupol and Berdyansk, I can say, putting his own pronouncements in other words, that it is Russian Federation that protects Europe from barbarism, tyranny, terrorism, aggression and militarism looming large over our continent", she wrote on her Facebook account. The "Sea of Azov shall be delimited along the line of the state border by agreement between the two sides".

"Free shipping into the Sea of Azov to the Ukrainian coast and harbors must be ensured" by Russian Federation, she said.

However, with Russian Federation deploying new missiles in Europe and the United States president threatening to withdraw from the INF treaty, Stoltenberg believes there is a "risk is that events could spiral out of control and create something really risky". The US has shared intelligence evidence with its allies that the ground-fired cruise missile could give Moscow the ability to launch a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice.

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